Last night was just about as nice as Sunday night and I was out again, this time imaging M8, the Lagoon Nebula. I also took some flats that I was able to subtract out in Photoshop which helped keep the center from being blown out. This image is a composite of an hour and I’m thinking that I might try to do a long term Messier Marathon where I image all of the Messiers for an hour of 4 minute exposures to do a longer term version of my 2008 messier project.
September 14, 2010
September 12, 2010
Here’s an hour’s worth of the Trifid Nebula. I need to figure out a way to do flat frames with this scope because I believe with a flat frame, this would look way better. I really had to work to try to reduce the vignetting. That said, I’m really happy with the way it looks. The PHD Guiding on the LX200 was so good I was able to use every single frame I took. I’m loving this scope…
February 27, 2010
I also had a bit of time to image the Great Orion Nebula this evening. I took 40 images ranging from 5 seconds to 90 seconds and created this composite. Because the Moon was so bright a lot of fine detail was washed out, but overall I think it’s pretty decent – you can see the Trapezium as well as nebulosity in the “wings” of the nebula. I’ve got to get this imaged on some dark nights soon. Oh – and this is the first DSO I’ve imaged with my new MPCC coma corrector. I think it does a bang up job of correcting coma in this image. I hope to do a more in-depth comparison soon.
November 8, 2009
This was my first attempt at the North American Nebula, also known as C20 or NGC7000. If you look at the image sideways, it sort of looks like the gulf of mexico – actually other images by other people show the shape more completely (plus this is just a part of it – it’s a big nebula!). This was also the first time I tried using a red filtered image added to the full color images. I stacked a bit more than an hour’s worth of RGB from my D50 and then did 36 minutes having added a Red filter on top of the Orion Skyglow Imaging Filter I use. (I recently got a bunch of 48mm filters off of eBay cheaply, this was one of them) After stacking the red images, I added it as a screen over the regular image and it really made the image pop – it’s a bit like a cheapo Hydrogen Alpha filter, combining the two filters. Anyway, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out – the only problem being that the red images didn’t align very well with the RGB image (thus the sort of letterbox formatting).
October 28, 2009
Tonight was mostly clear, with occasional wispy clouds. I decided just to focus on one thing with my D50 and choose the Dumbbell Nebula – M27. M27 is a planetary nebula (which has nothing to do with planets) which is the remnants of a star that exploded. You can see the star if you zoom in – it’s the cyan one in the center of the nebula. The huge number of stars in this image is from the location of this nebula inside the Milky Way. The Dumbell Nebula (or Apple Core Nebula as I refer to it) is an easy to find and easy to see target in the fall night sky.
April 12, 2009
I have only images M46 once before-last year when I was doing my Messier Marathon. When I imaged it then, I did not get as wide a view as I captured tonight. When I was looking at it in Stellarium, I noticed that there was a planetary nebula in the midst of the open cluster that is M46 and thought it would be a neat object to image. I’ve centered the image on the nebula (NGC 2438) which throws the open cluster a bit off center, but I like the image better this way.
November 26, 2008
Merope is one of the stars of the Pleiades and has a nice nebula around it known as The Merope Nebula. In the bottom right of this image is another of the Pleiades, Alcyone, which is the brightest of the seven sisters.
May 1, 2008
Okay – one more… After getting M13, I couldn’t resist going to M57 – the Ring Nebula. This was another target I hadn’t imaged or seen with my LXD75 or DSI-II. It was so much brighter and crisper than in my old scope – just beautiful. I really like planetary nebula and can’t wait to try the Dumbbell Nebula with this scope – it should be quite large with a lot of detail.
March 11, 2008
This nebula is located right next to the Horsehead Nebula in the constellation Orion. This was a quick 8m 20s image that didn’t really have enough detail to pull the horsehead, so I just cropped it down to the Flame Nebula.
February 27, 2008
Tonight was cold enough that even with all of my layers on I went inside periodically to warm up. Unfortunately, there was enough of a breeze that I had trouble getting and long exposures and clouds kept showing up when the breeze died down. I took a few images of M33 and M45, but wound up adding to my M42 Orion Nebula images. The image above now contains 37+minutes of data including a couple 5 minute shots and it’s really starting to show more nebulosity. The Running Man Nebula (NGC1973) which is on the right is also really starting to show up. If I can get a night without wind, I’m hoping to add a couple 10 minute images so that we’ll be able to see even more of the structure of this wonderful deep sky object. Sorry to keep harping on Orion, but I’m still figuring out how to use the DSLR camera successfully with dimmer objects. I hope to have some images of something else soon.